Looks like Attorney General Herring was right all along, and everyone who said he was wrong were, well, wrong. The bottom line is that the U.S. constitution trumps the state constitution, and under the U.S. constitution we all have to be treated equally under the law and not discriminated against just because a majority feels like it. Why is that such a difficult concept for right wingnuts like Bob Marshall to understand? Here are a few highlights from the ruling, which you can read in full on the “flip.” Enjoy! 🙂
*The plaintiffs are found to have standing. A key reason: the plaintiffs “suffer humiliation and discriminatory treatment on the basis of their sexual orientation,” which opposite-sex couples so not likewise suffer. Furthermore, “This stigmatic harm flows directly from current state law.” Any further questions?
*On legal precedent, the court writes: “doctrinal developments in the question of who among our
citizens are permitted to exercise the right to marry have foreclosed the previously precedential
nature of the summary dismissal in [the Baker v. Nelson decision of 1971]. The Baker summary dismissal is no longer binding.”
*”Marriage is a fundamental right…protected
by both the Due Process and Equal Protection
Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Isn’t that exactly what Mark Herring said? 🙂
*There is “no dispute” that the Marshall-Newman, anti-gay-marriage amendment, “Plaintiffs and Virginia citizens similar to Plaintiffs are deprived of that right to marry.” That, obviously, is BLATANTLY unconstitutional.
*”Because marriage is a fundamental right, therefore, Virginia’s Marriage Laws cannot be
upheld unless they are justified by compelling state interests and are narrowly drawn to
express only those interests.” #FAIL and #FAIL some more.
*”The state’s compelling interests in protecting and supporting our children are not furthered by a prohibition against same-sex marriage,” just as bans on inter-racial marriage weren’t so furthered. The fact is, “The for-the-children rationale rests upon an unconstitutional, hurtful and unfounded presumption that same-sex couples cannot be good parents.” Utterly and maliciously false.
*Bottom line: the Virginia anti-gay-marriage amendment (and laws) fail under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment and specifically its Equal Protection Clause. As if that’s not enough, “Virginia’s Marriage Laws fail to display a rational relationship to a legitimate purpose, and so must be viewed as constitutionally infirm under even the least onerous level of scrutiny.” The court clearly states that the main reason these anti-gay-marriage laws are in place is anti-gay animus and prejudice. And that’s not sufficient reason to discriminate under the U.S. Constitution, which right wingers like Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, Mark Obenshain, Bob Marshall, etc. (falsely) claim to revere so much. Sorry guys, you and your bigotry lose!
P.S. We’re all eagerly awaiting the heartfelt apology to Mark Herring by all the right wingers who slandered him (as well as by everyone who supported discriminating against an entire class of Virginia citizens). Any time now. 🙂